review: KeepCup

About a year ago I was poking around the shelves of Little Red Fox in DC, admiring the gourmet foods and interesting things for sale, when my eye was captured by what anyone who has raised children would recognize as a sippy cup.  Hmm.

Closer inspection revealed it to be made of glass, with a cork ring and a plastic lid.  It was my first exposure to the KeepCup, a reusable coffee cup from Australia (must be good if it’s from Oz, I reckon!) which brands itself as the world’s first barista-standard reusable cup.

I eventually ordered one, and I love it.  They come in tempered glass or plastic cups, with either cork or plastic rings, sized from 4oz to 16oz (mine is 8 oz).  The plastic varieties come in a riot of color, there are special edition from time to time (currently including a Star Wars set), and the web site enables you to design your own or order branded cups.

They’re pretty simple, comprised of three parts:  the cup, the lid, and the removable plug.

The plug slots easily into the top, and rotates to sit in open or closed position.

A couple words of warning.  While the lid and plug do a decent job of keeping the coffee in the cup, unlike your tyke’s sippy cup yours is not leakproof, so please try not to toss it about the minivan in a fit of pique when you run out of goldfish crackers.  The tempered glass version is tough, but it is at the end of the day made of glass, so take reasonable care with it.  And the cork band version should never see the inside of a dishwasher, clean by hand please.

I haven’t found those caveats problematic for everyday use.  The benefits to owning and using the KeepCup, besides having something in your life that you may think looks reasonably cool, include avoiding the use of disposable cups, and your baristas will be more likely to remember you when you come again.  If, like me, you drink a macchiato and like it with an extra shot or two, you can avoid the discussion with some uptight baristas about how that much coffee won’t fit into their espresso-sized to go cup and are you really ordering a macchiato or a cortado or do you want something more like a latte and auuurghhhh please just make my drink in any sized cup you please it’s not that complicated.

One final benefit, the 8 oz sized cup is a perfect fit with the AeroPress.


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